One of the ways you can pursue judgment collection is to seize and sell the personal property of the judgment debtor. Judgment collection can be time consuming and expensive. The judgment debtor’s personal property may not be worth the time and effort to seize and sell depending upon the value of the items available to be sized. If the judgment debtor has some high value personal property like an expensive car or owns antiques the seizure and sale could satisfy your judgment in full.
If you try and satisfy a judgment by seizing the judgment debtor’s vehicle you will need to know the vehicle identification number, make, mode, color, license number and physical location of the vehicle. A lien will have to be placed on the vehicle before proceeding. If the vehicle has a loan balance still outstanding or the value of the vehicle is less than $4,000 the odds of obtaining any money to satisfy your judgment is probably low.
To seize other personal property of the judgment debtor you will have to have the sheriff’s department seize the judgment debtor’s personal property and then sell it at public auction. To start the process of seizure and sale a writ of execution must be obtained from the superior court directing the sheriff’s department as to the location of the judgment debtor’s personal property. After that a notice of levy is prepared directing the judgment debtor to turn over the personal property to the sheriff. The sheriff’s office will not forcibly take the personal property though and merely notify the judgment debtor that they may be liable for attorney fees and costs. If and when the judgment debtor does not turnover the personal property to be seized a turnover order will have to be obtained from the court. A seizure order allows the sheriff to take the property and as mentioned is usually only worth it if the personal property is large and valuable in nature.
The fees and costs of actually seizing the personal property of the judgment debtor usually makes this remedy not financially feasible. A cost benefit analysis will have to be thoroughly discussed before choosing to attempt to seize any personal property of a judgment debtor.
A judgment debtor’s examination should be conducted first to find out what personal property of the judgment debtor could be worth seizing. A judgment debtor’s examination is a cost effective way to find out if the judgment debtor has any personal property of value to seize and information about the judgment debtor’s bank accounts. You can also obtain information about their employer and even ask the judge for the judgment debtor to turn over the cash they may have in their pockets. If the judgment debtor does not appear the judge will eventually issue a bench warrant for the judgment debtor’s arrest.